South Korea To Phase Out All Coal & Nuclear Power

9:32 am JST																S. Korea begins shut down of its first and oldest commercial reactor

"So far, South Korea's energy policy pursued cheap prices and efficiency", Moon said at an event marking the shutdown of Kori-1, South Korea's oldest nuclear plant.

Our Kim In-kyung has more.

President Moon Jae-in said Monday that South Korea will move away from the nuclear energy and will not seek to extend the life of existing nuclear plants.

South Korea has 25 nuclear reactors, supplying about a third of the country's total electricity.

Argonne, first formed in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project that produced America's first nuclear bomb, is known to hold the world's leading technologies related to atomic power. Moon was one of seven candidates in the May presidential election who signed an agreement in March for a "common policy" for phasing out the country's use of nuclear energy.

The president said all plans to build new nuclear reactors, for which preparations were already being made, will be scrapped and that lifespan of existing reactors will not be extended.

The country's second-oldest reactor, Wolsong 1, will be shut down as soon as possible, he said, taking into consideration the power supply and demand situation.

The shutdown of Kori-1 is estimated to cost $567 million, South Korean newspaper Segye Ilbo reported Monday.


The president pledged to usher in an era of future-oriented, alternative energy sources, promising active support for the renewable energy industry and nuclear power plant dismantlers.

The president said the business community's concerns about power shortages, energy bill hikes and the expense of shutting down reactors can not deter his nuclear-free energy policy.

Changes will not only mean the decommissioning of older reactors but also the suspension of work on new reactors. Moon took office on May 10.

But South Koreans' enthusiasm for nuclear energy quickly waned following the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns in its neighbour Japan. The Gyeongju natural disaster that struck South Korea in September 2016, which he acknowledged caused no deaths, has shown that Korea "is no longer a safe quake zone".

To decommission the Kori 1 reactor, South Korea plans to invest developing its own decommissioning technology and experts in the area.

Moon has said he favours renewable energy sources as a replacement for coal and nuclear.

At the same time, spent nuclear fuel will be cooled for 6 to 7 years and then transferred by December 2025 to a yet-to-built dry storage facility able to store a total of 1,391 spent fuel bundles.

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